Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Thursday, 21 March 2024

Committee on Public Petitions

Decisions on Public Petitions Received

Photo of Martin BrowneMartin Browne (Tipperary, Sinn Fein)
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If there is agreement, we will get the petitioner in and hear their concerns. We will get Tusla in after that. Is that agreed? Agreed.

The next item is P00066/22, to create a health service's student allowance. It is from Mr. Joel Rajesh. This petition relates to healthcare students in Ireland facing substantial costs in relation to placements at HSE public hospitals. This includes costs in respect of meals, subsistence, scrubs, purchase, laundry and accommodation and travel to placement sites. An allowance scheme for those costs exists for student nurses but does not exist for student doctors, radiographers, dentists, pharmacists or physiotherapists. A universal health service student allowance would relieve a massive financial burden for these students and would make retaining these future graduates within the health service easier. Students are often unemployed during term time and rely on family contributions. During the current recruitment and retention crisis for the public health service staff such small measures are vital and should be strongly considered.

The recommendation is that the correspondence of the petitioner would be forwarded to the Department of Health for comment within 14 days, along with writing to the Department of Health to inquire whether they can avail of the same type of scheme as junior doctors, nurses, etc. Do members have any views?